Now at the peak of his influence, Drake recently made waves for sporting three stripes rather than his usual Jordan apparel.
Until a couple of months ago, Drake and Adidas were never necessarily a pair you could picture working together. Since 2013, OVO and Jordan have been involved in a partnership that has produced several highly sought after apparel, especially the co-branded retro Jordan silhouettes. Throughout the years, we’ve seen Jordan 10s, 12s and recently 8s appear in mainly black, white and gold colour palettes, with OVO’s signature owl making the cut. The Toronto artist’s lyrics run deep within his brand affiliations, repeating several times that both Jordan and Nike have his heartstrings for years – but is Drake truly moving on from such a long, historic partnership?
Just weeks ago, Drake shocked the world by appearing in multiple pictures posted to his own accounts sporting various Adidas gear such as track jackets, sweaters and classic track pants. What really turned heads, however, were the sneakers. A white OVO tracksuit with hints of teal, navy and lime green was paired with a subtle collaboration of Adidas and Reigning Champ, an interesting choice, seeing as the model did not garner much initial attention.
Later that week, fans caught a glance at the rapper in a live performance with Majid Jordan at REBEL nightclub. Again, Drake confused many by wearing the new Yeezy Desert Rats in Blush, which released later that week. Even after subtle shots between Drake and Kanye, this can only mean good things are on their way. As if these two sightings weren’t enough to spark attention, Drake hopped back into a pair of Nike Air Max 1s for a recent Raptors game.
So what is going on? While nothing official has been stated, it’s quite evident that Drake will be making the move to Adidas like so many figures in the industry. Adidas has much to offer, as the last few years have been huge in terms of the success of the brand. There are two reasons why it’s a move that makes sense for Drake – more creative control and a major cheque.
Adidas has shown the last few years that It has no problem throwing money at creative influencers like Kanye, Pharrell Williams and many more, and Drake will be no different in that regard. More importantly, however, is the creative control that will likely be given to the artist. Jordan could only offer so much to OVO in this aspect as their Retro Jordans need to remain pretty similar to keep their iconic style, leaving collaborators mostly with material and colour changes without much more. Nike has also been known in the past to limit the amount of control they allow. Adidas is almost a polar opposite as they’ve shown that they give artists almost full control on any projects going their way.
Offering Drake his own model, rather than simply swapping previous colours on old models must be appealing. If Pharrell and Kanye are any examples of the future to come, Drake can expect multiple sneakers with his name on them. Adidas can only gain by this, as they have mostly been coming out with new models in recent years, which have obtained absurd success, rather than bland old designs.
Jordan is losing out in a major way, even if it was a smart decision to keep Jordan retros classic. It’s recently been found that in a pairing with Travis Scott, two Jordan 4s will be released in the next month. One of them being influenced by the Toronto Raptors sporting Purple and Red hits on a black canvas were originally intended for Drake’s signature on the tongue, but will now be released without. Travis Scott’s Rockets-inspired retro will be by itself in terms of celebrity endorsement.
The next few months will answer many questions as his upcoming album Scorpion will likely come in June, and will go hand in hand with brand endorsements. This year, Yeezy and Adidas are proving true that they are continuing to jump over Jumpman.
Words by Eric Cooper – Shop Adidas and Nike on End Clothing now.